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Robust Learning Stability with Operational Monetary Policy Rules

  • George W. Evans

    ()

  • Seppo Honkapohja

    ()

We consider “robust stability†of a rational expectations equilibrium, which we define as stability under discounted (constant gain) least-squares learning, for a range of gain parameters. We find that for operational forms of policy rules, i.e. rules that do not depend on contemporaneous values of endogenous aggregate variables, many interest-rate rules do not exhibit robust stability. We consider a variety of interest-rate rules, including instrument rules, optimal reaction functions under discretion or commitment, and rules that approximate optimal policy under commitment. For some reaction functions we allow for an interest-rate stabilization motive in the policy objective. The expectations-based rules proposed in Evans and Honkapohja (2003, 2006) deliver robust learning stability. In contrast, many proposed alternatives become unstable under learning even at small values of the gain parameter.

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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200719.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2007
Date of revision: 15 Jan 2008
Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0719
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  1. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Learning and Macroeconomics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 421-451, 05.
  2. Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Seminar Papers 666, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  3. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. R. Anton Braun & Yuichiro Waki, 2005. "Monetary Policy during Japan's Lost Decade," CARF F-Series CARF-F-035, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  6. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2007. "Expectations, learning and monetary policy : an overview of recent research," Research Discussion Papers 32/2007, Bank of Finland.
  7. Sergey Slobodyan & Anna Bogomolova, & Dmitri Kolyuzhnov, 2006. "Stochastic Gradient versus Recursive Least Squares Learning," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp309, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  8. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1045-1084.
  9. Fabio Milani, 2007. "Learning and Time-Varying Macroeconomic Volatility," Working Papers 070802, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  10. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2000. "Timeless Perspectives vs. Discretionary Monetary Policy In Forward-Looking Models," NBER Working Papers 7915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Honkapohja, Seppo & Evans, George W., 2000. "Expectations and the stability problem for optimal monetary policies," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2000,10, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  13. James B. Bullard, 2006. "The learnability criterion and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 203-217.
  14. James B. Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  15. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2006. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 15-38, 03.
  16. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  17. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja & Noah Williams, 2005. "Generalized Stochastic Gradient Learning," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-17, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 18 May 2008.
  18. Evans George W. & Guesnerie Roger, 1993. "Rationalizability, Strong Rationality, and Expectational Stability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 632-646, October.
  19. John Duffy & Wei Xiao, 2007. "The Value of Interest Rate Stabilization Policies When Agents Are Learning," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 2041-2056, December.
  20. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 1998. "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 23-44.
  21. Wiliam Branch & George W. Evans, 2005. "A Simple Recursive Forecasting Model," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-3, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Feb 2005.
  22. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence," Working Papers 050607, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  23. LokSang Ho, 2006. "Role Of Fiscal And Monetary Policy," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 121-127, 02.
  24. J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
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